What is multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease which affects the brain and the spinal cord. It mostly affects myelin or white matter. Myelin is the insulation on the nerve cells. If you remove or damage myelin, the nerve cells can’t send signals to each other. This causes symptoms such as weakness, vision problems, numbness, or poor coordination. The usual course of MS is relapsing-remitting. During a relapse, MS symptoms get worse fairly rapidly over a few days and stay bad for a few weeks. This is typically followed by a remission with partial or complete improvement of the symptoms. Usually there is a long stable period of months or years between relapses. MS can also be progressive, with symptoms getting slowly and steadily worse without sudden changes.
The fight to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis gained a new ally in 2003. Multi-platinum country music sensation Clay Walker, who was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 1996, stepped forward to form the Band Against MS Foundation to raise money for MS research and programs, as well as raise awareness about the disease.
The National MS Society addresses the challenges of living with MS through their 50-state network of chapters. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.